Hey Ian Watcha Into: Mecha, Hacking Everything, and Elections in Retrospect

In no particular order, some things I’ve found interesting lately:

The United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas

I picked this one up a while ago when it was a BookBub deal, given Kameron Hurley’s recommendation of it even further back. I was surprised at how it went about telling its story. There’s a lot more intrigue and a careful drawing of the alternate history the book takes place in, and a lot fewer bonkers mecha fights, than I expected. But the characters were strong and the world was great to drink in. It did, frustratingly, give us insight into a very interesting character in a long flashback who is then dead the next time they’re mentioned in the present, which was frustrating, and overall I felt like the book was a little too willing to kill its characters. That’s probably just a difference in craft/preference, though, and I still give the book an unreserved recommendation for anyone who likes alternate World War IIs, alternate history in general, stories where video games are a lens into something deeper, and/or stories with awesome, fifty-story tall mecha.

Internet Chemotherapy

A wild, impressive, and chilling read about a coordinated hack of millions of Internet of Things devices. Does an amazing job of showcasing just how vulnerable everything is, and how we’ve (as a society) been neglecting even the most basic security (in, I would argue, the name of quick profits). Read it here: https://archive.fo/PQAnU

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

I’m almost done with this one, and it’s been an interesting audiobook. Good if you want to hear a thorough breakdown of the last election. Also good if you want to hear Hillary being politely frustrated about several things. It’s especially interesting watching a presidential candidate analyze their own mistakes, and to hear Hillary’s take on things like the e-mail “scandal,” fake news, and the Comey letter, and how they affected the final election. It can be somewhat depressing, hearing snippets of policy that point to what might have been; still, a worthwhile read.

And that’s it for me! What have you been into lately?

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